THE PURPOSE OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN DEVELOPMENT – DILEMMA OF ETHICAL & SOCIAL ASPECTS OF DESIGN BACHELOR AND MASTER PROJECTS IN LATVIA
Editor: Guy Bingham, Darren Southee, John McCardle, Ahmed Kovacevic, Erik Bohemia, Brian Parkinson
Author: Aija Freimane
Institution: Art Academy of Latvia
Industrial production is highlighted as the main source of development and well-being for the people. It is expected that design both as a process and the result helps to generate profit but ethical and social impacts of design are not considered to be the priority of the global market. Nevertheless designers argue that design is human and ethical activity. What drives product development in industrial production and emerging school projects? Can products, developed according to ethical and social aspects, compete in capitalism economy? The paper analyses the purpose of creative industry’s design and industrially produced product development in a small country (less than 2 million people) and identifies booming design product specialization during financial austerity. Acknowledged and successfully produced niche products in the market are compared with the product development concepts in design education since 2010. Research defines, that ethical and social aspects, especially identity and belonging as transformation of traditions, wellness and health, are important to a creative industry’s design specialization of a small economy rather than industrially produced products. Ethical and social issues are the ground of microdesign- enterprises; however it is not sufficient for their successful development. Ethical and social aspects, included in the early stage design process, favour the shift of design paradigm under the pressure of the global capitalism economy.